Portrait of a Gourmand – Todd of White On Rice Couple blog

Portrait of a Gourmand – A gourmand is simply, someone who takes pleasure in food and eating. This is a continuing photographic series of gourmands, from all walks of life. There are many gourmands that inspire us in profound ways that make us experience and think about food differently. These portraits essays share their amazing stories.

Our very own Todd of White On Rice Couple is now in front of the lens, rather than being behind the scenes, where he normally is for these Portrait of a Gourmand shoots. Todd has a fascinating food story that is deserving to be highlighted in this portrait series.

Portrait of a Gourmand Todd-White on Rice Couple


He was born and raised on a cattle ranch, into a family that made their humble living off their land. Growing up in a small town of population 1,500 (most of which were probably cattle) and where internet didn’t exist back then, his ravenous curiosity kept him  continuously open minded to life outside the ranch. By the time he left for college, he knew his calling would be down in Southern California, a land so vastly different from his youth of mountains and rolling hills.

Todd packed what few belonging he could strap onto his motorcycle and rode over 1,000 miles to Los Angeles, where he traded his time with horses for the wastelands of congested freeway traffic. His love of the outdoors, food, people and culture led him to meet me, Diane. We met in a coffee house, each thought the other one was cute, stuck to each other like White On Rice, raise two dogs and a garden full of fruit trees, started a blog and ended up here, on White On Rice Couple (dot) com. He will always be my cowboy.

In the forever precious words of Paul Harvey —“And now you know the rest of the story…”

Our blog and Twitter: White On Rice Couple@WhiteOnRice

Portrait of a Gourmand Todd-White on Rice Couple


“If you could have one big finale meal, what would your final feast be?”

Before Man Eats
A Sidecar. Only made with fresh lemon juice, cognac, and triple sec. Don’t even think of making it with a mix instead of fresh juice. That would be complete sacrilege to this classic cocktail. I know it should have Cointreau, but I like the lighter quality of the triple sec.
Let the Food Begin
Bánh Xeò (Vietnamese Crispy Crepe)- nice and crispy, filled with pork butt, daikon sprouts, tons of herbs & greens on the side & Diane’s mom’s nước mắm. If it’s chilly weather, a good, kinda smokey oolong tea. If it’s warm out, a Tavel Rosé.
Next Up
A small bowl of Phở (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup). It perfectly refreshes the palate. All the proper accompaniments (herbs, sprouts, lime, hot sauce, hoisin, fresh cracked pepper). A cafe sữa dá (Vietnamese Iced Coffee) topped with fresh whipped cream to savor alongside.
The Main Act
A Hereford, grass-fed,  t-bone steak cooked medium rare, with just sea salt, fresh pepper, and butter topping the steak. Along side, my potatoes au gratin, and creamed baby green beans. A glass or two of Gigondas, my favorite comfort Southern Rhone wine.
The Grand Finale
Tiramisu and an espresso topped with whipped cream.
Everything was chosen not just for tastiness, but because of what memories it stirs. All of the portions would be preferably small, just a taste of each, except for the t-bone. Portions not to saturate the palate, but to awaken. The Sidecar is a ritual wind down drink for Diane & me. The Bánh Xeò and Phở are my two favorites that the crazy Asian with whom I share my life has introduced me to. I can’t go very long before I have to have a Viet food fix, and these two top the list. Plus, everything Vietnamese reminds me of the great life we’ve shared together. The cafe sữa dá’s with whipped cream I used to make for my staff at the cafe I GM’ed. I grew up a little cowboy on a cattle ranch. The t-bone was always our favorite. Gnawing and sucking on the little fat bits on the bone, so tasty. The potatoes are one of my favorite dishes to make, melt in your mouth good. The green beans remind me of my grandmother & how she was the first to make veggies I normally didn’t like into savory delicacies. The Gigondas is a great blue-collar wine. There are higher regarded wines out there, but this one suits me perfectly. Tiramisu is the perfect dessert. Alcohol, chocolate, coffee, the creamy marscapone portion, and the inebriated lady-finger bottom, the best of everything sweet. The espresso with whipped cream to finish… a great friend, Antoine, and I used to share them daily when we worked together. This is my life on the plate and in the cup.

Portrait of a Gourmand Todd-White on Rice Couple

More on the Portrait of a Gourmand series:

Who’s next?  Stay tuned for the next edition of Portrait of a Gourmand.


{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Tyler

    “…like an Ewok with a switchblade!”

    1. White on Rice Couple

      I still love that line! It was great meeting you the other night.

  2. Lenny

    This is an outrage!! I resent your treating this “meat” like an sex object! (Can you make me really, really, really good looking, too? 😉 )

  3. White on Rice Couple

    Tartelette – Totally blushing. You are to sweet, Helen. Love you too.

    matt – Thanks, man. I’m honored you think so well of me.

    Marvin – Thanks! We’ve been busy little bees.

    Tiffany – Many more to come. All of life isn’t on Twitter 😉

    gina – Very cool. Another kindred couple!

    Marc – Ha, ha, ha! Very close. You have the katakana on the money, of course, but you missed the explanation on the final character in the comments. It is actually our ranch brand. Although I’m diggin’ your take on it. I might steal that in the future! Thanks for the compliments. We tend to be a bit shy about ourselves, but sometimes it’s nice to share.

    Thanks for visiting everyone. Hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of Portrait of a Gourmand. Remember to check out Helen’s of Tartelette if you haven’t yet. More Portraits to come in the future. Todd

  4. Marc @ NoRecipes

    LOL hahaha, just saw the “ka-u-bo-i up” tat. Love it! Grew up in the land of lifted trucks with rebel flags and cowboy up stickers, and I can’t say I’ve ever seen it phrased quite like that before.

    Awesome bio. I’ve enjoyed all the entries in this series for showing the people behind the blogs, but this one was particularly helpful since I don’t feel like I know you guys quite as well as some other bloggers. Thanks!

  5. sarah

    happy birthday to a gourmand today! 🙂

  6. gina

    what a great story….me and my cowboy met at fast food joint in Ventura Co. I now live in Kansas..I am filipina. I love your victory garden…I am a gardener as well and a foodie…cooked for Dean and Deluca for 3 years.

  7. Tiffany

    Love it! I’ve been on Twitter too much and on the blogs too little. I can’t believe I’ve been missing these.

  8. Marvin

    Great Portrait, you guys! I also just read up on Todd’s new posts on Squid Ink! Congrats on everything!

  9. matt

    AMAZING photos and story. So much character to everything – which suits Todd perfectly!

  10. Tartelette

    Loved it! Brilliant pictures! But duh that was to be expected coming from the both of you! And there is steak! That makes me happy, happy!! What a final feast but knowing you just a tad bit, I am not surprised with what you chose. Love you both! Hot, hot, hot!!

  11. White on Rice Couple

    Miakoda – Thank you very much. Sometimes the mushiness comes out. I can’t help it.

    Dodie – You should add a hunk of bison in yours. That is our family brand. The P is the first initial of our last name, and our ranch was the Indian Creek Ranch (named for the creek that ran though our property) so the arrow was a fitting touch.

    Veron – Thanks! I like to think I have good taste. I did go after Diane.

    terri – Very good to pick up on the katakana. It actual was inspired from what Dad often called me, “Little Cowboy” so it’s a bit of a tribute to him. And the brand came from before I was born. See the above explanation on it’s origin (as best I know.) We had many a cow with it’s ass seared in that icon. Well, flank actually, but ass is more fun to say.

    Chez US – Thanks. Yeah I noticed Lenny go clean a month or so after I did. I wish I would have done it much sooner. Glad you like the write up. My life on a table. There is a guy near Dad that makes the mini brands and Dad has one already made up. I just haven’t gotten around to getting one for me. I should.

    Thanks for visiting everyone. Glad everyone has enjoyed the Portrait of a Gourmand series so far. Thanks for all the personal love, and if you haven’t yet, make sure you check out Helen’s Portrait of a Gourmand then go visit her on her site at Tartelette. She’s sassy, intelligent, brilliant in the kitchen, and a whole lot of fun. Todd.

  12. Chez US

    GREAT photos – WOW! Diane, how did you even let those loose 😉 T & L are sporting the same hair-do these days, shaved L a couple months back, back to his roots he likes to say! Great write, I like the fact, you (Todd) combined the love of the cattle ranch with the love of being with Diane – great meal concept!!!

    By the way .. you must get one of those custom branding irons for your steaks, got my dad one when he moved to the wild wild west in Montana – he loves it!

  13. terri

    delurking to tell you how much i’ve been enjoying your blog!

    okay, i get the “cowboy” (in katakana) tattoo, but like dodie@ashevilletravel, i want to know the story behind the brand…

  14. Veron

    What awesome fun pictures of Todd! Yum on everything in his last meal especially the pho and the T-bone.

  15. Dodie @AshevilleTravel

    I love how ur last meal connects your roots and your love. Hmm…maybe I should consider adding buffalo to mine! Now, I’m wondering if that’s your family’s brand — it kind of looks like your initails and I see that it’s echod on your forearm. Very cool series, very cool story.

  16. Miakoda

    “…everything Vietnamese reminds me of the great life we’ve shared together….”- that’s what I loved best about Todd’s profile. Real fun pictures too!

  17. White on Rice Couple

    katie – Thanks. It’s a fun series of which we will have much more.

    matt – Awwww!!! Way to the heart is always through the tummy!

    Haley – I’ve been known to have a bit of a devilish streak!

    Andrea – She’ll be coming soon. We want to put a few others up first. So many cool people to share!

    Lisa – Totally manly adorable! Thanks sweetheart.

    Brooke – Thanks, Brookie. You are too sweet. “Blushing”

    Manggy – Yeah, kind of like how a pet owner starts to resemble their pet, we are starting to resemble each other. Definitely an improvement in my case. Growing up on horseback does help toughen one up for long motorcycle trips.

    Yu! – “Totally Blushing!” So are the pups and Diane! Love ya Jen!

    Carol – You’re hubby one damn lucky man too! You are too sweet!

    Helene – Thanks. We had fun shooting them. We both had the exact same idea for the shoot. Of course, I’m the lucky one, but Diane doesn’t have it too bad.

    Thanks for the sweet comments and for visiting everyone. Hope you all enjoy the Portrait of a Gourmand Series and are excited to see who’s next. Todd.

  18. Hélène

    Love all the pictures of Todd. I enjoyed reading his story. Reading this brought me memories on my childhood. I was raised on a farm, small village and we had pigs.

    Diane you deserve so much your little ‘cowboy’. xo

  19. Carol, Simply...Gluten-free

    You had me at “He was born and raised on a cattle ranch”. Diane you are one lucky woman who has gotten exactly what she deserves – a handsome, beautiful, caring he-man who loves you AND CAN COOK!

  20. Jen Yu

    I’m late (as usual) for an appointment, but who can resist commenting on such a hottie!?!? LOVE Todd. LOVE the series. LOVE the pups. And especially love YOU, big D. Beautiful, wonderful, caring, loving, creative, funnneeeeee, friends. Big hugs and kisses to you. xxoo

  21. Manggy

    Yay Todd! I love that even in your last meal, Diane is closely intertwined into it. So moving.
    I CANNOT believe you rode 1000 miles with all your belongings on a motorcycle. That is why I can never be a cowboy!

  22. Brooke

    This photo series is blowing my mind. Brilliant photos, insightful stories and beautiful food memories make me feel so much closer to your subjects. Todd’s story is so captivating. The photos do a great job in showing us his cowboy past. Love you two,

  23. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary

    Those photos are just too adorable (I mean that in a totally manly way Todd). A man who can cook and bake….he’s a keeper Diane, but you already knew that! Love this series.

  24. Andrea

    I was wondering if you two would add yourselves to this series! What a fun way to meet Todd. So Diane, when is it your turn?

  25. Haley J.

    I love this! I always love a good “meet cute” story and the story of Todd, the rustic cowboy. I particularly love the picture of him branding the meat he holds in his hand. Very devilish. Loving this series, y’all!

  26. matt

    WE LOVE THIS AND WE LOVE TODD!!!!!!!!! xoxoxoxooxoxoxoxo!!!!!!!

    “my potatoes au gratin”

    ’nuff said.

  27. katie

    I am really enjoying these posts. What a nice tribute!

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